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TJ’s Nix to Pick Panthers

Pitt will land its top-rated recruit in years when Thomas Jefferson offensive tackle Lucas Nix ends weeks of speculation by announcing his verbal commitment to the Panthers Friday.

The 6-foot-6 1/2, 295-pound Nix, younger brother of Pitt redshirt freshman linebacker Nate Nix, is considered a five-star prospect by recruiting services, with a No. 26 national ranking by Rivals.com and No. 27 by Scout.com.

Most importantly, Lucas Nix fills one of Pitt’s greatest needs by adding depth at offensive tackle, where returning starters Mike McGlynn and Jeff Otah are entering their final seasons of eligibility.

Nix also gives Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt a feather in his cap by landing a top-5 offensive lineman from the WPIAL for the second consecutive recruiting class, after signing Keystone Oaks guard Chris Jacobson in February. That’s something Walt Harris never did.

Nix is Pitt’s fifth recruit from the Class of 2008 and third from the WPIAL. He joins Johnstown cornerback/return specialist Antwuan Reed, Wilmington tailback Chris Burns, Greensburg Central Catholic defensive back Chris Hayden-Martin and Clairton safety Manny Williams.

Pitt also is in position to add two other top-100 talents, according to recruiting services. Churchville-Chili (N.Y.) multi-purpose back Averin Collier, the younger brother of Panthers sophomore tailback Kevin Collier, is believed to be favoring Pitt. And Madison (Ohio) tight end Nic DiLillo reneged Monday on his verbal commitment to Clemson and is expected to choose the Panthers.

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